With the European Championship officially over and the football fever slowly subsiding, unpleasant aftershocks appear to be on the way.
Fans from Denmark have filed an official complaint with the Danish Football Association (DBU) over perceived degrading treatment at Wembley during the Euro semifinals. While some allegedly had bottles, profanities, and even urine hurled at them, others reported beatings, Danish TV2 reported.
Other instances of unbecoming behaviour listed in the complaint include children being spat or shouted at during the match, which ended in English victory.
Overall, the experience at Wembley was described as “utterly frightening and very, very insecure”.
“In general, security was simply not in order, and it created an insecure feeling”, Allessandra Nørreriis, the initiator of the letter signed by 29 fans, told Danish Radio. By her admission, she experienced the violence at Wembley first-hand among the 8,000 Danes who were granted access to the match.
The Danes who saw the match also complained about the lack of security at Wembley. For instance, Birgitte Lydum, said she had only seen two police officers outside the stadium, and inside Wembley, the guards did nothing to calm down the aggressive English fans, she said.
“The guards seemed to be very young and inexperienced. I think they were just as scared of these thugs as us”, she emphasised to TV2.
Allessandra Nørreriis concurred that the general security at the stadium was poor, citing a lack of separation between Danish and English fans. She also added that the security guards failed to sufficiently intervene during the unpleasant episodes.
To add insult to injury, the Danish national anthem was booed at. After the match, the debasing experience continued on the way home from Wembley, according to Nørreriis.
“There was an English fan on the train who kept trying to force me to hold his dirty England flag and encouraged people to film me and take pictures of me meanwhile while some shouted that I should go to hell”, Nørreriis explained to TV2. Her hope is therefore for the letter to ultimately reach the European football body UEFA.
The English Football Association may therefore face fines from UEFA in light of the violent episodes that the latter will now investigate. The Danish Football Association (DBU) is currently in the process of collecting testimonies from the semis, and is in dialogue with the Foreign Ministry about what should happen next.
England has already been slapped with its first fine, after fans attempted to distract Danish goalie Kasper Schmeichel with a laser pen during the semifinals.